Series: Salt and Light; The Mystery
Sun am 22 July 2018 – Kobus Swart
(Gen. 1:1, 26-28); Rev. 2:7; John 1:1-2; 1 John 1:1-4; 1 Cor. 15:45; (Heb. 1:3); John 5:39; (Luke 24:26-27);(Luke 22:20-KJV); John 6:53-54; 1 Tim. 1:3-4 (AMP); (Eph. 1:23); (John 8:32); 1 Cor. 6:17; John 17:21; (John 1:18); 2 Cor. 3:17; Isa. 9:6; Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20; John 14:16-18; Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:9; (John 4); Heb. 1:5; (John 1:32-34); John 16:7;Col. 1:27; Eph. 5:18; Rom. 8:14; Matt. 5:13-14
Why are you here? Why has God released you to be born in this world? What do you make of your life? Is God satisfied with my life on earth? When God created man at the beginning in Genesis 1, after everything was created, God said: “Let us make in Our image and Our likeness” then God gave the purpose for that: “Let them multiply and let them rule over everything on earth” (Gen. 1:26-28). Basically, God wanted man to represent Him on earth. We must make sure we live for the very purpose for which God gave us life. Adam and Eve were given that opportunity; we do not know how long they enjoyed the garden and the atmosphere and the fellowship with God before they were faced with a choice. God told them of the two trees in the garden but told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Look beyond the literal: there is a deeper meaning. We must look at it through the eyes of the New Testament. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God (Rev. 2:7). Adam was given an opportunity to partake of a higher form of life, but he missed it. God has not given up and was not surprised by what happened.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God(John 1:1-2). That Word which was with God, which was God, became flesh and dwelled among us. What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ(1 John 1:1-4). This is referring to the Word that was made flesh in the person of Jesus. The emphasis here is that this invisible God who is spirit. When God said, “Let us make man in Our image and Our likeness”, He wanted to become visible, He wanted somebody to represent Him in the earth.
Thank God that millenniums later, the Word who was with God in the beginning became flesh and the Son of God was born. The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:44-45). The Word became flesh and represented God. God who is spirit became visible in His son Jesus Christ. In this is the challenge: what are we on the earth for? Jesus was called the exact representation of the Father (Heb.1:3).
The New Testament is not a book, it is a Person, and the New Testament is Christ: Head and body. Jesus said:You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me(John 5:39; Luke 24:26-27). To minister the New Testament does not mean to minister sermons or doctrines, laws or truths about Jesus Christ. We need more than that. To minister the New Testament is to minister the very life of God which was in Jesus in the Spirit and He has made us able ministers of the Spirit. This is why Jesus did not say, “The Bible is the New Testament.” He took the cup and said, “This is the New Testament in my blood” (Luke 22:20-KJV). He did not say the New Testament is in the Bible. This means that the New Testament can only be found in the blood of Jesus. It is not literal, but a spiritual truth! So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day”(John 6:53-54). The New Testament therefore is the very life of Christ poured out for us and imparted to us. That does not mean literally blood and literally flesh. This reveals the purpose of God in Christ. The purpose of God in Christ was to dispense Himself into humanity. That is why He sent His Son to dispense God into the world. Get used to the words, ‘dispense’ and dispensation’.As I urged you when I was on my way to Macedonia, stay on where you are at Ephesus in order that you may warn and admonish and charge certain individuals not to teach any different doctrine, Nor to give importance to or occupy themselves with legends (fables, myths) and endless genealogies, which foster and promote useless speculations and all questionings rather than acceptance in faith of God’s administration and the divine training that is in faith(1 Tim. 1:3-4 – AMP). In this divine dispensation God who is all mighty and all-inclusive intends to dispense nothing but Himself into us. In the end the Bible says God will fill all in all (Eph. 1:23). It does not end with this little planet called earth. I heard once that ever since the beginning the universe is expanding at the speed of light. Billions of galaxies are formed. God wants to dispense nothing other than Himself to us. This needs to be meditated upon day and night. Ask yourself: How much of God do I dispense? What happens in my interaction with people? When there is an encounter, what do I dispense?
You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Knowing, not hearing about the truth. It has to come by impartation; it has to become yours by revelation. There is only one dispensation which we need; it is the dispensation of God Himself in our lives. The one who is joined to the Lord is ONE SPIRIT (1 Cor. 6:17). I want you to see this now about the Father, the Son and the Spirit; see the oneness. There is only one God. He is expressed in three progressive administrations/manifestations of Himself. 1. God the Father is the Source; 2. Christ is the expression of that Source; 3. The Holy Spirit is the transmission of God and Christ into man. Oneness is on the mind of God: Jesus said, That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me (John 17:21). That is an interpenetration of God and man. It is more than unity, there is a divine activity needed to bring us to this place of oneness. God is the Source, Jesus is the expression and the Holy Spirit is the transmission or energy. Without these three stages, God’s essence can never be dispensed into man. That is why that prayer of Jesus is critically important. Jesus is indeed the expression of God, or God expressed (John 1:18). Jesus said “I will not express what I am, I will express only what He is” – that is true SONSHIP.
Now the LORD IS THE SPIRIT, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17). Who is the Lord? The Lord is always referred to as the Lord Jesus Christ. But it says the Lord is the Spirit. What does that mean? Who is the Spirit? It is clear the spirit is the Holy Spirit of God. A prophecy regarding the Messiah: Jesus is referred to as the Eternal father (Isa. 9:6). God, Jesus and the Spirit are one. The Son is called the Father and the Son who is the very Lord is also the Spirit. This means the Father, the Son and the Spirit are one! Do not separate the Father from the Son and the Holy Spirit. Yes, they have different manifestations, but they are one, not only in unity and substance but in every truth they are one Person, and that Person in three manifestations or modes of activity.
The Holy Spirit is also God’s energy force. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving(vibrating)over the surface of the waters (Gen. 1:1). Yahweh, God accomplished the creation of the universe by means of the Spirit’s energy force. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you(Matt. 12:28). But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you (Luke 11:20). The Holy Spirit is the finger of God. So often we face issues, shakings in our lives, and challenges. If there is a shaking in your life, look for the hand of God; to be more specific, look for the finger of God!
Our spirits can breathe in this truth revealed by Jesus when He said, I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you(John 14:16-18). Many translations battled with the last part, I come to you. Unfortunately, many translations allowed for a misinterpretation meaning that “I am giving you my Spirit but I will come back in two thousand years.” That is incorrect. The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit(1 Cor. 15:45). Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”(Gal. 4:6). However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you(Rom. 8:9). Can you see what confuses many theologians? It is the same Spirit. God is Spirit; He has always been Spirit (John 4). Angels do not have God’s Spirit even though they are spirit beings. Their spirit is of a different order than the Spirit of God (Heb. 1:5). They are spirit beings but not what God called us to be. When God initiated His great plan to give, to dispense His Spirit into man, Jesus was the first to so receive. During His earthly ministry, this dispensation of God’s Spirit was limited to Jesus. Now you must understand this also. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming down to the river to be baptised he saw the Spirit of God coming upon Jesus and to remain on Him(John 1:32-34). God has given the Spirit to Him without measure, but it was on Him. What about His disciples? He was telling them that it was better that the Spirit comes upon them than Him remaining with them(John 16:7). He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem in the upper room. I want you to meditate upon this. You should see why. Jesus in His earthly body was in one place at one time, but now He is accessible around the world.
Immanuel means ‘God with us’, but once the Spirit has come in us, God is now in us. There is a difference between ‘with us’ and being ‘in us’. We have a tremendous privilege as Spirit-filled believers. Transformation does not take place from without, it must come from within. Here is the greatest blessing of the coming of the Holy Spirit: Jesus had been with them but when He left, He is now in them by the Spirit. Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). When Jesus was on the earth, before His ascension, He was with them, but when He sent the Holy Spirit, He is now in us. We will now become the dispensation of God in earth by the Spirit. “…be filled with the Spirit”(Eph. 5:18). This is more than just speaking in tongues. We need to be filled with the Spirit from within. We are in the season where God wants us to dispense Him in the world, and you can only dispense God in the world when the Spirit of God is in you. We must be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit because the spirit of this age is tempting the Church with alternative routes, with easier options. We must come to the place where we are led daily by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14). We must be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-14). This is our function! You are carriers of His presence; dispense it in the world; be the Church out there not just here on a Sunday. That will reflect in the way you spend time alone with God and with His Word. Money cannot buy what you get in those times with God. May the Spirit of God confirm this Word in His own way.